Landmine Update #4, April 2001

April 2001
The Landmine Update is the International Campaign to Ban Landmines' quarterly newsletter. This edition is followed by a calendar of upcoming events and list of available new resources. To date, 139 countries have signed the Mine Ban Treaty, and 112 have ratified it. The most recent ratifications are Kenya (23 January), Zambia (23 February), and Sierra Leone (25 April).
Events were held throughout the world to mark the third anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty signing on 3 December. After this historic day intersessional work commenced in Geneva, Switzerland. Over seventy ICBL campaigners and Landmine Monitor researchers attended the Standing Committee meetings from 4-8 December. Twenty-six ICBL campaigners remained in Geneva, Switzerland to attend the CCW-APII Annual Meeting of States Parties, held 11-14 December, and a small ICBL delegation participated in the Second Meeting of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the CCW Review Conference, held 2-6 April in Geneva, Switzerland. Contact:
The Second Anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty's Entry into Force was celebrated worldwide on 1 March. A range of events is detailed below, including the concerted global effort to collect signatures for the Youth Against War Treaty.
Approximately two hundred ICBL campaigners and researchers, and over two hundred US Campaign to Ban Landmines students and activists, converged on Washington, DC, USA for Ban Landmines Week, held 5-10 March. The ICBL held its third biennial General Meeting 6-7 March, at which the campaign adopted the 2004 Action Plan, guiding the ICBL into four years of sustained and increased efforts to rid the world of antipersonnel mines. The full 2004 Action Plan is available online at and the General Meeting Final Statement is available at The Ban Landmines Week report is posted at
Landmine Monitor researchers met 8-9 March to prepare the 2001 Landmine Monitor Report. Concurrently, the US Campaign to Ban Landmines held an activist conference and over 300 meetings on Capitol Hill with Congressional representatives.
Throughout the week a series of events were organized, including the screening of a Korean film, congressional briefing, Press Club luncheon, reception, amputee hockey tournament, inter-faith prayer service and awareness-raising play. On 10 March, 263,000 petition signatures from youth in 42 countries were symbolically handed over to an empty chair since the US government would not publicly accept them. (report available at The petitions were later delivered to the White House. Ban Landmines Week served to increase awareness of the mines issue both in the United States and abroad.
Throughout the first quarter of 2001, many new developments and campaign activities have taken place around the world:

  • Afghanistan- To mark 1 March, the Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines sent letters to US government officials, urging accession of the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact:
  • Angola- Club de Jovens hosted "The impact of the Ottawa Treaty on Landmines Ban in Huila, Province," seminar, held 20-21 February. The event included meetings with the Governor of Huila province and a radio broadcasted debate. UNICEF Angola celebrated 1 March by distributing 15,000 copies of its civic education booklet "Epa! Mine Awareness" to communities throughout Angola. UNICEF Angola, in collaboration with Handicap International and the Ministry of Education and Culture, revised a training curriculum and all mine awareness teaching material. In February local NGOs held workshops for students, traditional leaders and community activists on victim assistance and mine awareness. Angolan participants traveled to a mine awareness workshop in Mozambique (see Mozambique.) Contact:
  • Australia- To commemorate 1 March the Australian Network of the ICBL sent letters to US government representatives in Australia and the United States, urging the US to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Campaigners conducted meetings with the Embassies of the United States, Vietnam and Myanmar/ Burma. The network also organized public displays and school and community awareness raising presentations. Later that week, 10,500 petition signatures calling for an end to mine use by all parties involved in the Sri Lankan conflict were delivered to the Australian foreign minister. In April, Cambodian survivor Man Sokheurm, Ny Nhar and Australian Taekwondo gold medallist Lauren Burns, teamed up to raise awareness and funds for the Destroy a Minefield program.. Contact:
  • Bangladesh- In February, Youth Approach for Development and Cooperation hosted "Victory Day Festival 2000" at the Indian Embassy in Dhaka, where landmine films were screened and presentations encouraged youth participation in the mine ban movement. Contact:
  • Belgium- On 1 March, Handicap International met with representatives at the US Embassy in Brussels to encourage the US to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Embassy officials were presented with a copy of the 2000 Landmine Monitor Report and a shoe and letter to deliver to President Bush as part of HI's "A Shoe for Bush" campaign ( ). HI also held a press briefing on 1 March. An HI representative delivered a presentation to the Belgian Parliament on 21 March and HI released its Ban Mines Newsletter in early March. Contact:
  • Brazil- The Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines participated in the World Social Forum 2001 held in Port Alegre from 25-30 January. A total of 20,000 people from 122 countries, representing NGOs, media, and parliamentarians, attended this event. The campaign held a workshop and staffed an information booth with exhibits and materials throughout the forum. For the occasion they produced a booklet on landmines in Portuguese and distributed 5000 copies at the event. On 1 March, the Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines sent a letter to the Brazilian Foreign Minister encouraging transparency and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. In April, the Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines welcomed Angolan survivor Jose Felisberto, who traveled to Brazil to study art. Contact:
  • Cambodia- To celebrate 1 March, the Cambodia Campaign to Ban Landmines sent letters to all ambassadors in Phnom Penh, asking for a response regarding assistance with victim and mine clearance programs. The campaign organized a display at a meeting where forty-eight governments met to discuss conventional weapons. ICBL Ambassador Tun Channareth led fellow survivors in a tourist targeted leafleting campaign at Angkor Wat. On 8 March, Cambodian survivor Pun Srey Lack made a testimony about women and landmines at the World Court of Women Against War, For Peace, in Cape Town, South Africa. A school for children of disabled ex-beggars was opened 14 March at Banteay Srei. In April, Cambodian survivor Man Sokheurm, Ny Nhar and Australian Taekwondo gold medallist Lauren Burns, teamed up to raise awareness and funds for the Destroy a Minefield program (see Australia.) Youth Ambassador Song Kosal traveled to Canada (see Canada.) Contact:
  • Canada- On 19 February, Mines Action Canada sent a letter to Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific Rey Pagtakhan, asking him to encourage support of the Mine Ban Treaty on an upcoming trip to South East Asia. Mines Action Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and the Youth Mine Action Ambassador Program hosted the Canadian Landmine Awareness Week (CLAW) with events including school presentations, bell ringings, prayer services and banner making held across the country from 26 February- 4 March. ICBL campaigners and mine clearance experts from several countries and ICBL Youth Ambassador Song Kosal participated in the week's festivities. On 1 March, Mines Action Canada launched its updated website at The Government of Canada also updated and upgraded its SafeLane landmine ban web site In April, ICBL Youth Ambasasdor Song Kosal traveled to the Canadian West to conduct a series of awareness activities with Canadian school groups and a children?s choir (see Cambodia.) Contact:
  • Colombia- CIREC, member of the Colombia Campaign Against Landmines, organized a conference on Victim Assistance, held 26-27 March at a university in Bogota. Almost 100 Colombian students, politicians, professionals, NGOs and government representatives attended this two day seminar, which provided an overview of the various aspects of victim assistance and programs to support Colombian survivors. The Colombian First Lady and Canadian Ambassador spoke at the opening of the conference. Contact:
  • Egypt- ICBL member Landmine Struggle Centre issued a press release on 1 March, encouraging Arab nations to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact:
  • Ethiopia- RaDO became a member of the ICBL. Contact:
  • France- On 8 January, Handicap International participated in a joint press conference with Boutros Boutros Ghali, International Organization of the Francophonie, and Toumani Toure, Former President of Mali. The press conference launched Toumani Toure's tour of African Mine Ban Treaty non-signatory states, encouraging accession to the Mine Ban Treaty. Since January, HI staff visited twenty African Embassies based in Paris, encouraging accession and ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty and promoting the ICBL's work. On 1 March, HI sent letters to French government representatives, encouraging them to devote more substantial and better targeted mine action funding. HI re-launched it "Call of Scientists" for a mine-free world campaign on 1 March. In addition, HI launched its " A Shoe for Bush" campaign, in which citizens are encouraged to send a shoe to the White House in protest against American landmine policy. Contact:
  • Georgia- On 10 December several NGOs formed "Physicians for Human Rights- Georgia" to collaboratively work together to implement "for the defense of my rights," a disability rights program operated jointly with the Ministries of Labor, Health and Social Security. Students Against Landmines, Youth for Peace formed and collected 1000 petition signatures for the Youth Against War Treaty. The youth also have their own radio program and have been working in the Georgian "Children's Parliament," urging Georgia to join the Mine Ban Treaty. On 26 February PHR-Georgia met with Nino Burjanadze, chairperson of the Committee on Juridical Issues in the Georgian Parliament, and on 23 March with Georgian Parliament member Gia Jakheli, vice chairperson of the Committee of Defense and Security. Both government representatives were supportive of PHR Georgia's work but stated that Georgia is not in a position to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact:
  • Germany- The German Initiative to Ban Landmines launched the report " Alternative anti-personnel mines- The next generations," on 1 March. Contact:
  • Greece- On 6 April, Mr. ?smail Cem, The Minister Of Foreign Affairs of The Republic Of Turkey, and Mr. George Papandreou, Minister Of Foreign Affairs Of The Hellenic Republic On Anti-Personnel Land Mines, issued a joint statement announcing that Greece will take the necessary domestic steps to ratify the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and Turkey will initiate the process to accede to the treaty.
  • Hungary- From 1-2 February, the Seminar on the Destruction of the PFM1 mine was held in Budapest. The seminar arose from cooperation between the governments of the Ukraine and Canada to destroy Ukrainian PFM1 mines. The seminar was co-hosted by Canada and Hungary and participants from a number of PFM1 affected areas attended including Belarus, Bulgaria, Chechnya, Moldova, Romania, Russia and the Ukraine. This group of nations, including many Mine Ban Treaty non-signatories, held productive talks surrounding feasible methods of PFM1 disposal. Seminar proceedings will be reported to the SC on Stockpile Destruction in May. Contact: or
  • Indonesia- From January to March, the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines sent copies of the ASEAN Landmine Monitor Report and letters to various members of the Indonesian government, urging Indonesia to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact:
  • Lebanon- MENA ICBL/Landmine Monitor researchers and campaigners met in Beirut from 11-12 January. Activities included meetings to prepare the 2001 Landmine Monitor Report, an advocacy session, and a public event where Lebanese mine action organizations showcased their work. ( Contact:
  • Kenya- Ratified the Mine Ban Treaty, 23 January. Contact:
  • Malaysia- In January, landmine campaigners from Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, along with members of the Malaysian press and Army, witnessed the destruction of Malaysia?s total stockpile of over 94,000 anti-personnel mines. Malaysia is the first ASEAN country and the twenty-seventh country worldwide to complete its stockpile destruction. Contact:
  • Mali- The Seminar on Universalization and Implementation of the Ottawa Convention was held 15-16 February in Bamako. The meeting was co-hosted by Mali, Canada and France. Over forty-five African nations attended the seminar, in addition to international and regional organizations and the ICBL. The meeting presented ?operational conclusions? at the end. The ICBL issued a public statement at the opening of the conference, encouraging full implementation and universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty in Africa. Contact: or or or
  • Mauritius- The Ban Landmines Working Group (Mauritius) collected 11,500 signatures for the Youth Against War treaty in a nationwide school campaign from 2 December to 28 February. The signatures were delivered to the US government, urging President Bush to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Lobby letters were sent to President Bush, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defense. In addition, 500 signatures were collected and delivered to the Mauritian Minister of Foreign Affairs on 1 March, calling on him to pledge his support for the mines issue, submit an Article 7 report and contribute funds for mine clearance. After much lobbying by the Ban Landmines Working Group (Mauritius), on 27 March the Mauritian national assembly unanimously accepted the Anti-Personnel Mines (Prohibition) Bill. Contact:
  • Mozambique- A representative of Club de Jovens Huila, Angola, attended a Mine/ UXO Awareness and Mine Risk Education Workshop from 29-30 March in Maputo. Contact:
  • Nepal- To celebrate Human Rights Day, the Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines held "Ban Landmines for Human Right's and World Peace; the Need of the Present," 11-12 December, in Kathmandu. Speakers at the event included a supreme court justice and parliamentarians. From 28-31 January, an ICBL/Landmine Monitor regional researchers and campaign meeting for South Asia was held in Kathmandu. Sessions included research discussions and roundtables, an advocacy seminar and a media briefing. Contact:
  • New Zealand- From 26-30 March, the New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines (CALM) participated in the UN Asia Pacific Regional Disarmament Conference in Wellington. CALM representatives attended bilateral meetings with treaty non-signatories and a workshop reviewing the difficulties some Pacific States have faced in moving to ratify or accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Mary Wareham, Human Rights Watch, delivered an address at the conference. Contact: or
  • Nicaragua- On 29 March the Nicaraguan military destroyed 15,000 anti-personnel mines in Condega, Esteli, in the presence of the Nicaraguan President, NGOs and the media. NGOs have been organizing the launch of the Nicaraguan Coalition for Humanitarian Demining. Contact: Preparations for the Third Meeting of States Parties in Managua have continued. Contact:
  • Nigeria- The Nigerian Focus Group On Landmines sent a letter to Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on 28 February, urging Nigeria to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact:
  • Peru- On 28 March the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-LIREC) organized a one-day workshop in Lima, in preparation for the Third Meeting of State Parties in Managua, Nicaragua. Representatives from governments, the diplomatic corps, UN organizations and the International Red Cross participated. The Landmine Monitor researcher for Peru made a presentation on the role of NGOs and civil society in monitoring implementation and compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact: or
  • Philippines- The Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Canadian Embassy jointly hosted a screening of Canadian documentary "Measured Steps: The Global Movement to Ban Landmines" and discussion forum on 21 February in Quezon City. On 18 April the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines issued a statement to the GRP and NDFP panels at the Solidarity Conference for a Just and Lasting Peace, held in Oslo, Norway. The statement commended peace process efforts and urged full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. Contact:
  • Russia- On 4 December, IPPNW- Russian hosted Australian artist George Gittoes and his "Minefields" exhibition, which was accompanied by lectures at the Moscow-based medical/general educational institutions. Contact:
  • Sierra Leone- Members of SHARE met with US Ambassador Joseph H. Melrose in Freetown on 31 January, to explain the landmine situation in Sierra Leone and encourage the United States to join the Mine Ban Treaty. On 25 April Sierra Leone ratified the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact:
  • South Africa- SADC Landmine Monitor Researchers met 18-20 January in Johannesburg. Researchers prepared for the 2001 Landmine Monitor Report, shared their research, and attended an advocacy seminar. Contact: Liz Bernstein and Jody Williams visited South Africa on behalf of the ICBL from 12-22 March. They held meetings with the South African Foreign Ministry and SADC (Southern African Development Community) Mine Action Programme officials in Pretoria, participated in a press conference and conducted media interviews, participated in public meetings in Cape Town and participated in a PeaceJam event. Contact:
  • Spain- On 15 February in Barcelona, Campaign Against Landmines of Moviment per la Pau released "Les Mines Antipersonal," a book of papers presented at an international conference held in November 1999. Contact:
  • Sri Lanka- The Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies hosted a symposium on the Impact of Landmines in Sri Lanka, held 29-31 March. Approximately 70 members of international organizations and NGOs attended the event, including Sri Lankan and American ICBL campaigners. The symposium discussed the political situation and distribution of mines in Sri Lanka and the difficulties of getting aid to mine-affected areas. Contact: or
  • Syria- On 3 March, Yarmouk/Syrian Campaign on Landmines, held a video screening and presentation about Landmine Monitor for Syrian NGOs. Contact:
  • Switzerland- From 12-17 March the Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines held "Mars and that sets out again," named after a well-known Swiss slogan about chocolate. Several hundred students participated in this series of events, held at the University of Geneva, which included an awareness raising play titled "The Bomb Disposal Expert," mine clearance demonstration, exhibits, conference and benefit concert. Contact: The ICRC held an Expert Meeting on anti-vehicle mines with sensitive fuses or with sensitive anti-handling devices, 13-14 March, in Geneva. Contact:
  • Thailand- On 18 January, Thailand destroyed 10,000 of its stockpiled mines in the presence of landmine survivors from Srakaew province, ICBL and representatives from the Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines, regional Landmine Monitor researchers, media and Royal Thai Government officials. An additional 1,000 mines were destroyed on 28 March. ( Report on events). Immediately afterwards, ASEAN ICBL/Landmine Monitor researchers and campaigners met in Bangkok from 19-20 January for a regional meeting and advocacy session. On 19 January, ICBL representatives participated in a roundtable discussion at the Thailand Mine Action Centre where they presented their research findings and launched the ASEAN LM report: "ASEAN and the Banning of Antipersonnel Landmines." On 1 March, letters were sent to Indonesia, Brunei and the United States, encouraging ratification and accession to the Mine Ban Treaty. The Thai Youth For Peace campaign collected 9,881 signatures for the Youth Against War Treaty, which were presented to the US Ambassador in Bangkok on 9 March. Contact:
  • Togo- The Togolese Campaign to Ban Landmines was created on 28 December in Lome. Contact:
  • Turkey- On 6 April, Mr. ?smail Cem, The Minister Of Foreign Affairs of The Republic Of Turkey, and Mr. George Papandreou, Minister Of Foreign Affairs Of The Hellenic Republic On Anti-Personnel Land Mines, issued a joint statement announcing that Greece will take the necessary domestic steps to ratify the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and Turkey will initiate the process to accede to the treaty. New ICBL member Turkey Without Mines welcomed the statement. Contact:
  • Ukraine- On 26 March, the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister signed an agreement in Ottawa, Canada, regarding the Ukraine's PLM use, and on 29 March the Chief of Ukrainian Engineering Troops visited NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium to present information about the Ukranian PMN program. On 4 April, ICBL campaigners met with military officials that stated that the PMN program will likely commence in November- December. Contact:
  • United Kingdom- Landmine Action (UK) launched the report " Alternative anti-personnel mines- The next generations," on 1 March. Contact:
  • Uruguay- On 21 April, Uruguay completed domestic measures to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty. Contact:
  • USA- Before President Clinton left office, the US Campaign to Ban Landmines sent a 9 January letter to the President, urging him to join the Mine Ban Treaty. On 19 January President Clinton issued a statement deferring all decisions on the Mine Ban Treaty to the Bush Administration. On 1 March the US Campaign to Ban Landmines sent a sign-on letter with the signatures of three hundred physicians to President Bush, urging accession to the Mine Ban Treaty. The US Campaign to Ban Landmines brought over two hundred activists from 46 of 50 states to Washington, DC for Ban Landmines Week events, held 5-10 March. Campaigners participated in an activist conference, student activist training seminars, held over 300 Congressional lobby meetings urging members to support the Landmine Elimination and Victim Assistance Act of 2001 and participated in joint events with the ICBL (also see Contact:
  • Yemen- A Mine Awareness Material Workshop was held in Aden, 19-21 February. Contact: In February, Australian artist George Gittoes brought his "Minefields" exhibition to Sana'a. While in Sana'a Gittoes also held a workshop for local artists. Contact:
  • Zambia- Ratified the Mine Ban Treaty, 23 February. Contact:

  • Calendar of upcoming events
  • New resources received to the ICBL Resource Center